Admiral Nimitz ordered the invasion of Iwo Jima in October 1944, with three Marine divisions committed to the battle. This was the largest Marine force ever concentrated for a single battle with over 80,000 troops. Iwo Jima was dominated by Mt. Suribachi in the south and the Japanese had spent years creating massive defense works including tunnels, caves, hidden artillery positions and minefields throughout the island. The Marines landed on February 19, 1945. The fighting was fierce especially at Mt. Suribachi. On February 23rs=d the American flag was raised over Suribachi. A few hours later, another flag raising took place that resulted in the famous photograph taken by AP photographer Joe Rosenthal. This phot became one of the most memorable from World War II. The image was later used to sculpt the Marine Corps War Memorial. Iwo Jima was secured in March. 27 Medals of Honor were awarded from this battle and Admiral Nimitz said ‘Uncommon valor was a common virtue’ as he appraised the actions of the Marines at Iwo Jima.